As we approach the second half of 2022, towns across New England have been assembling to engage in one of the oldest and purest forms of democracy in the history of our society. Throughout Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, communities have called upon their citizens to come together in a formal setting to debate, discuss, and decide on matters that impact their lives and communities. In the past several years, many of these meetings have taken place in an unconventional setting, like when Sterling conducted their meeting in a large outdoor parking lot in 2021, or when Stow opted for a multi-room setup during their annual meeting. No matter the circumstances, Meridia supported this purest form of democracy with hardware and software that made sure every single voice was heard, and every vote counted efficiently and accurately.
Since April, 14 towns have conducted their annual meetings with the help of Meridia on-site technical support. These include the towns of Hamilton, Carver, Sterling, Hull, Bourne, Westwood, Seekonk, Mendon, Lunenburg, Ipswitch, Longmeadow, Rehoboth, Dedham, and Holden. The simplicity and speed of the clickers greatly accelerated the pace of the meeting agenda for all of the towns involved. In particular, the town of Holden had a meeting agenda that consisted of 34 articles. With the help of the software’s automatic vote-counting and a skilled moderator, they were able to finish the Warrant in two hours and fifteen minutes; a far cry from the long, drawn-out meetings of the past that could easily extend well into the night or even the next day. Other towns used a combination of voice voting (for unanimous and non-controversial articles) and keypads to maximize the speed and fluidity of the meeting. In the upcoming weeks, Blackstone, Conway, and Westford will soon join them as the town meeting season gets into full swing. As always, we will provide support during the setup and voting process as per request.
Many Massachusetts towns have opted to use the TownVOTE system and keypads independently, without the need for on-site technical support. These include Warren, Stow, Raynham, Ware, Charlton, and dozens of others. If you’d like to learn more about how you can modernize your town meetings, give us a call at: (610) 260-6800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.